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Royal Enfield Recalls Himalayan Motorcycles Over Corroding Brake Calipers

Royal Enfield Himalayan 8 photos
Photo: Royal Enfield / edited
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Royal Enfield has recalled nearly 4,900 motorcycles due to brake calipers that may corrode prematurely. Both the front and rear brake calipers of the Himalayan adventure tourer were supplied by Brembo India, which isn’t all that surprising because Royal Enfield is based in India.
Headquartered in Chennai, the motorcycle manufacturer became aware of this problem approximately two years ago, when a UK-based customer brought his bike in for new calipers with 2,000 miles (nearly 3,200 kilometers) on the clock. Said customer experienced front wheel dragging and locking, which is kind of hairy considering the safety risk posed by the wheel locking while riding.

Royal Enfield immediately tasked the safety boffins and quality assurance personnel to find the root cause behind the premature corrosion. Brembo and Bosch, the supplier of the anti-lock braking system, were also brought in for analysis. The conclusion? Not cleaning the calipers after using the bike on salt-sprinkled roads may lead to corrosion, which causes brake drag or complete failure.

The sole report from the United Kingdom was enough for Brembo to understand that it’s anything but an isolated case. Other countries also use salt to deice roads during the winter, meaning that pretty much all Himalayan motorcycles are prone to caliper corrosion.

Brembo further recommended Royal Enfield to use anodized calipers in countries where salt is used to melt ice on the road. Anodizing is the fancy term for coating a metal with a protective oxide layer, with said metal forming the anode as part of the electrolytic process.

Other than the United Kingdom and United States, the motorcycle manufacturer from India has also issued or is in the process of issuing recalls in the European Union, South Korea, and Japan. The U.S. dealer network was informed of this problem at the end of February 2023.

Owners will be notified via first-class mail starting the week of March 31st with instructions to bring their Himalayans in for the remedy, which comprises anodized brake calipers for both the front and rear wheels. Royal Enfield expects less than 0.01 percent of the 4,891 motorcycles recalled in North America to exhibit corrosion as per the document attached below.

Suspect bikes were assembled in the period between March 1st, 2017 and February 28th, 2021 for the 2017 through 2021 model years. By replacing the brake calipers, dealer techs are required to also replace the brake fluid with either DOT 3- or DOT 4-grade fluid.

Priced from $5,449 sans freight and optional extras, the Himalayan for the U.S. market is rocking 17- and 21-inch wheels mounted with dual purpose tires for ease of mind on any surface and in any kind of weather. Long travel suspension, a 31.5-inch seat height, and a 411-cc engine of the single cylinder variety also need to be mentioned, along with a 439-lb (199-kg) curb weight.
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Editor's note: 2023 model pictured in the gallery.

 Download: Royal Enfield Himalayan brake caliper recall (PDF)

About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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